Google is calling on trekkers to help create street views of hidden corners of the world. Amateur explorers can now sign up to add their own contribution to Google Street View, with the Google Trekker Street View Backpack. Organizations like tourism boards, non-profits and universities can now show off their access to remote places by taking around one of the camera-wielding backpacks on their next adventure.
Google’s new Trekker backpack joins the ranks of their other surveying and image capturing fleet, which includes cars, trikes, trolleys and snowmobiles. Like the other tracking and image systems, the Trekker is outfitted with an Android device with 15 different angled lenses that capture landscapes at 360 degrees, giving a semi-accurate “street view.” As the hiker walks, the camera snaps photos every 2.5 seconds, capturing a cohesive up, down, left and right as he or she moves through the wilderness, up a mountain, or deep in a valley.
The benefit of the Trekker, is that it can go where the cars, trikes, trolleys and snowmobiles can’t reach. Tight narrow spaces only accessible on foot can now be added to Google Street View, giving everyone a view of the far reaches of the earth.
To test out the Street View Trekker, Google sent a Trekker to the Grand Canyon, filming and snapping its gorgeous views along the way, which are now accessible on Google Maps. Want to don the Trekker backpack? Volunteers can apply to be one of the first to use the Trekker backpack through Google Maps.